Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Dane and the Portal

Running, Running wildley now, the deep wound in his shoulder oozing bright red blood.

The attack had come unexpectedley, primative stone tipped arrows showering out of the dark forest.

His brothers all gone in a moment.

How could this be, they had travelled so far to reach this dark and frobidding place.

Now to be smited by an unseen enemy

But he had no doubt they were there, following him as he crashed through the trees on the slope of the mountain.

Another arrow thuded into the trunk of the tree next to his head.

Loosing his balance he crashed to the ground, his helmet tumbling back down the hill, his  huge battle axe and shield falling into the undergrowth.

He scrambeled up wildley before charging head long again into the darkness of the trees.

He knew he must climb higher, he must find the place.

He was close he could see the snowline now

Blood loss weakend him and clouded his mind.

He must find the place, he must get there!

Running, stumblinng, falling.

They were closer now, he could hear their whoops and cries close behind him.

A wooshing sound, a searing pain in the back of his head.


The Dane lay face down in the undergrowth, the final arrow taking him in the back of the head.

The red skinned natives in the trees watched, but did not come close.

The mist swirled just ahead of the fallen Dane.

For a moment a huge old stone gate could just be seen, almost as if it was beckoning him home.

But in the barren and forbidding land that would one day be called New Foundland, this fallen Prince of Denmark was doomed to never reach Valhalla.

Paralympics 2012- Martine Wright - A Right of Passage - survivor of the 7/7 London Bombings

Martine Wright  lost her legs on 7/7 hours after toasting London getting the Olympics she is in the British team for Paralympics.

Martine Wright  who lost her legs in the 7/7 terror attacks spoke of her joy at being picked to represent Britain in the 2012 Paralympics.

And Martine Wright revealed that by a cruel twist of fate she was only on a Tube train that was blown up because she had spent the previous night celebrating London winning its Olympic bid.
In a moving interview Martine, 39, who is a member of GB’s sitting volleyball team, said: “I feel like I am meant to do this.
“If you had told me six years ago, when I was struggling to even sit up in bed, that one day I would be an elite sportswoman about to represent my country at the biggest sporting event on Earth — I would have thought you were off your rocker.”
Martine was on a Circle Line Tube train when fanatic Shehzad Tanweer detonated his bomb just outside Aldgate Station on July 7, 2005.
Now she feels it was part of her Olympic destiny. Martine will proudly wear the number 7 on her Team GB vest this summer — in memory of the fateful day that led to 52 deaths at the hands of al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists.
She said: “Some people might only see the negative in what happened to me. But I’m turning it into a positive.”
For Martine, London 2012 and the 7/7 horrors will always be tied together.
A day before the attacks, the International Olympic Committee announced London had won the bid to host the Games.
Martine, a marketing manager at the time, decided to have a few drinks with colleagues after work to celebrate.
It led to her spending an extra ten fateful minutes in bed next morning.
She missed her normal train, then a Northern Line signal failure meant she took the Circle Line to work.
She ended up sitting just 4ft from Tanweer when he set off his bomb.
Martine recalled: “There was a white flash. It felt like being in a Tom and Jerry cartoon and being hit in the face with a frying pan.
“That’s how it vibrated. Then the light went and all I could see was darkness.
“All you could smell was burning, and all you could hear were screams.
“I could see my brand new white trainer 8ft above all the debris.
“And I remember thinking ‘what’s it doing up there?’”
Martine lost three quarters of her blood before she was rescued.
She was in an induced coma for two weeks. Her body was so swollen that her brother and sister at first failed to identify her in hospital.
During that time Martine had 12 operations to amputate her legs above the knee.
She said: “I thought my life was over when I woke up and saw that my legs were gone. But when I found out how many people had died, I realised I was one of the lucky ones — and I needed to grab every opportunity.”
Martine, who now uses prosthetic legs as well as a wheelchair, married long-term boyfriend Nick, 39, and gave birth to Oscar, now 2½, soon after.
But she decided she wanted a new challenge and joined a sitting volleyball team after falling in love with the sport at a Paralympics taster day.
Martine said: “This is a whole new dream. It gives me the drive and ambition I used to feel at work.”
Sitting volleyball is played across a lower net than the regular game.
Players’ backsides must not lose contact with the floor when they hit the ball. Britain has not had an Olympic sitting volleyball team before.
By a strange coincidence, the British sitting volleyball team’s first international match was on July 7, 2010. Around this time, the team were regularly thrashed. But Martine says they are now ready to take on the best in the world this summer.
She said: “It felt like we had a mountain to climb at first.
“But we have started to get sets off teams that used to walk all over us.
“We might not be the most experienced team, but we can make sure we are the fittest and the strongest. With home advantage, anything can happen.”
But Martine’s journey has not been an easy one. She explained: “In the first days after I woke up in the hospital, it was so hard looking down at where my legs used to be and thinking, ‘My God, there’s nothing there’.
“I could barely look at myself in the mirror. It was only when I went up to the physio gym at the hospital and met other survivors I realised how many had died, and that I was one of the lucky ones. I’m still here. I’m still me.
Martine threw herself into rehab but found the going tough.
She said: “Half your body is gone so it’s a whole balance thing.
“Your body can’t compute that all that weight is gone. So even to sit up in bed feels impossible.
“Learning to walk again with prosthetic legs was the hardest thing I ever had to do, physically and mentally.
“Having to deal with it every second of every day is overwhelming.
“But I was lucky enough to have brilliant medical and physio staff that made me strong again.” Martine went on to get her air pilot’s licence and even did a sky dive for charity. But sport is her real passion.
She said: “No one should underestimate what sport can give people. At university I played mainly hockey but at school it was all sorts.”
Surprisingly, Martine feels no bitterness about her fate. She said: “I have never been angry towards the bomber. I just thought what he did was a bloody selfish thing to do. But he was brainwashed. I know other survivors who still have nightmares, but I don’t.”
Instead, the sports star dreams of gold medals. She said: “It’s the biggest sporting event on Earth, and it’s coming to the city where I was born. What Londoner doesn’t dream of being part of it?”